Advertisement

Getting Started with Mindfulness for Kids


There is an emerging body of science that suggests that doing mindfulness practices with kids can help increase focus and awareness and improve emotional regulation. I’m pretty confident that we could all benefit from having calmer, more aware kids, and these are skills that will benefit them for years to come. But how in the world are you supposed to help a child enthusiastically engage in a calm “awareness” practice when they won’t even sit still for five seconds?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Have realistic expectations. You can’t expect your five year old to sit for a 10 minute meditation. If you do, you are setting yourself and your kid up for failure. Recognize your child’s gifts, limitations, and personal interests and build a practice around those things. Also, use age appropriate language to talk about mindfulness. A little kid may not know what it means to be mindful, but they probably know what it means to pay attention.
  • Keep it simple & change it up. Don't over-think it. Incorporating mindfulness can be as easy asking your child to list 3 things they can hear. The best part is, there are a ton of excellent resources available on the internet. Try new ideas to find what works well for your kids and let go of what doesn’t work for them.
  • Create a regular practice, but be flexible. Like any new habit or thing we want to cultivate in our lives and in our kids, it takes consistency. You can’t teach your kids to eat healthy by asking them to take a bite of an apple one time and you can’t cultivate mindfulness by doing one exercise. Be consistent, but recognize when to let it go. Like all good things, sometimes it doesn’t go how we hoped and it just isn’t worth the fight.

Here are some simple exercises to get you started:

  • Practice Gratitude. Each day, perhaps at dinner or bedtime, ask your kids to name one thing they were grateful for in the day. This forces them to reflect on the day and find something positive in it.
  • Take a mindfulness walk. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and ask your child to try and notice as many bugs, animals, and birds as they can. This will help them to focus on the details of their environment and stay present.  
  • Breathe with a buddy. Have your child lay on their back. Place a stuffed animal on their belly and have them watch it move up and down as they breathe for one minute. This practice will slow their breathing and help them to be aware of their bodies.

At first, doing these practices may seem a little forced and awkward, but with a little time and consistency, you will notice the awareness you are teaching in these structured moments is carrying over into your child’s everyday life. The ability to slow down and be more aware will help them navigate relationships, school, and tough emotions more effectively so it’s well worth the effort and the little bit of awkwardness you may have to endure to get them started on the journey.

Be the first to review this item!


Bookmark this

20 Sep 2017


By Mandy Cowley

Recent Articles more articles

I Need a Pager Again

in A Day in the Life of Dad

The days of pagers (or beepers) seem so long ago, but sometimes, I think I could use one now. No matter where you go these days, someone is on their phone either talking, reading, or playing a game. These so-called phones are more of an information/e

Yolunda Taylor

in Mom or Dad Next Door

Meet Mom Next Door.

Dallas, Texas

in Get Out of Town

Get Out of Town.

Featured Listings more listings

7 elements Fine Arts Summer Academy

in Day Camps

Students who understand that their school subjects and art need each other tend to comprehend and retain information better. They become better problem solvers and contributors to society.

Camp Istrouma

in Day Camps, Residential Camps

If you looking for an day camp or overnight Christian camping experience then look no further. We are not to far from Baton Rouge but far enough to enjoy the great outdoors.

Twin Lakes Camp

in Day Camps, Residential Camps

Since 1970, Twin Lakes has provided families with a summer camp program nestled in the rolling hills and piney woods of central Mississippi. With day camp for ages 5-8, overnight camps for ages 6-12, the L.I.T. program for teens age 13-15, and more.

Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy

in Private Schools

Hope Academy utilizes proven research-based techniques that are tempered with care and customized to meet the unique requirements of the individual student.

Advertisement
Newsletter